And her lips moved in the wordless utterance of the prayer for which she had asked, forgetting it had some time before been said; and then her head sunk lower and lower on Arthur’s bosom, and there was no sound. Twilight lingered, as loth to disappear, then deepened into night, and the silver lamps within the tents brighter and more brightly illumined the gloom; but Arthur moved not, suppressing even his breath, lest he should disturb that deep and still repose. It was more than an hour ere Julien Morales could realize the truth, and then he gently endeavored to unclasp Arthur’s almost convulsive hold, and with, kindly force to lead him from the couch. The light of the lamp fell full upon that sweet, sweet face; and, oh! never had it seemed so lovely. The awful stillness of sculptured repose was indeed there; the breath of life and its disturbing emotions had passed away, and nought but the shrine remained. But like marble sculptured by God’s hand, that sweet face gleamed—seeming, in its perfect tracery, its heavenly repose, to whisper even to the waves of agony, “Be still—my spirit is with God!”
* * * * *
Julien Morales and Arthur Stanley—the aged and the young—the Jewish recluse and Christian warrior—knelt side by side on the cold earth, which concealed the remains of one to both so inexpressibly dear. The moonlit shrubs and spangled heaven alone beheld their mutual sorrow, and the pale moon waned, and the stars gleamed paler and paler in the first gray of dawn ere that vigil was concluded. And then both arose and advanced to the barrier wall; the spring answered to the touch, and the concealed door flew back. The young Christian turned, and was folded to the heart of the Jew. The blessing of the Hebrew was breathed in the ear of the Englishman, and Stanley disappeared.
Oh, love! thou fairest, brightest, most imperishable type of heaven! what to thee are earth’s distinctions? Alone in thy pure essence thou standest, and every mere earthly feeling crouches at thy feet. And art thou but this world’s blessing? Oh! they have never loved who thus believe. Love is the voice of God, Love is the rule of Heaven! As one grain to the uncounted sands, as one drop to the unfathomed depths—is the love of earth to that of heaven; but when the mortal shrine is shivered, the minute particle will re-unite itself with its kindred essence, to exist unshadowed and for ever.
“Why then a final note prolong,
Or lengthen out a closing song,
Unless to bid the gentles speed
Who long have listened to my rede?”
SIR WALTER SCOTT.